Today Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ 2nd) announces her candidacy for the U.S. Senate to replace Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
The Republican field is already populated by Dr. Kelli Ward, a candidate endorsed by Steve Bannon, and Joe Arpaio, the 85 year old long-time ex Maricopa County sheriff renowned for his tough treatment of criminal aliens who was recently pardoned by President Trump.
|[L] Dr. Kelli Ward [R] Ex Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Arizona GOP candidates for US Senate|
Although Democrats need to defend 25 of 33 Senate seats in the 2018 election cycle, including in 10 states in which President Trump carried in 2016, Republicans are worried about losing their slender control of the Senate. Senator Jeff Flake's (R-AZ) decision not to stand for re-election puts another "safe" GOP seat up for grabs.
In some respects, the GOP primary might be made up of voters with trollish Trump-eteer tendencies (infamously redubbed by Hillary Clinton as the "Basket of Deplorables") who think that strong immigration stances are the way to win via Arpaio's reputation and rhetoric. Kelli Ward had positioned herself to be a Bannon disruptor of the GOP Establishment, but now is backing away from "Sloppy Steve" after his fall from grace in the "Fire and Fury" fiasco.
Establishment Republicans hoping to avoid a repeat defeat akin to the Alabama special election, seem to favor McSally to keep the seat as she has legislative experience and is not an agitating lightning rod. However, when an ex fighter pilot urged her colleagues to "grow a pair of ovaries and get the job done", such a candidate might not be exactly safe for the go along to get along in the so called Senate country club in the District of Calamity (sic).